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How to Use the Five Senses in Your Home Design

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Your home should reflect who you are. It should feed your soul and provide you with inspiration. Don’t just consider how something will look in your home, instead consider how it will engage all five of your senses.

Touch

Touch is one of the most important senses when it comes to creating beautiful and functional interiors, and is a perfect jumping off point for an entire room. We often start our process by considering what textures we want in which space. A room needs to be touchable; you want to be able to reach out to it. That’s what our LivableLuxe™ style is all about – elegance and beauty that still feels like home at the end of the day.

The options for texture are numerous – sleek marble countertops, rough-hewn wood benches, polished metal hardware, coarse hair on hide rugs, velvety pillows, silky sheer drapes or soft down bedding. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll want to layer lots of textures in your space.

Smell

Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful – the slightest scent can evoke strong emotions or conjure up a long-forgotten memory. It’s important to harness this sense in your home. You can always opt for scented candles, oils or diffusers to help freshen your space, but even the subtle actions of opening a window to the fresh summer breeze or deep cleaning your house can make all the difference.

When entertaining, pay special attention to the way your home smells. It’s easy to become used to a less-than-fresh atmosphere day to day, but guests will notice any odd or unpleasant odors immediately. One of the best ways to make your whole house smell wonderful is to have something cooking or baking. Who doesn’t love the smell of cookies baking in the oven or homemade soup simmering on the stove on a chilly winter evening?

Taste

While you probably won’t be tasting your home in a literal sense, it might surprise you how much your favorite flavors can play into your home design. Consider your favorite foods: do you like the bright and spicy kick of curry or the warm comfort of homemade soup? The culinary flavors you gravitate to can be a great jumping off point for your home.

Use bright colors and bold patterns to add a little Moroccan spice, layer luxurious textures and rich jewel tones to evoke the decadence of tiramisu, or add plenty of warm tones and plush pillows to mimic the homey comfort of traditional mashed potatoes.

Hearing

The sounds in your home can set the atmosphere more effectively than any other sense. You can easily change the setting by adding music in the background or the gentle trickle of running water nearby. Consider how you want sound to play into your lifestyle. Do you want a quiet and peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Are you looking forward to the chaos and clamor of entertaining friends and family?

It’s also important to consider external noise when purchasing or building a home. Are you someone who prefers to hear the sounds of city life outside, or would you rather be on a quiet suburban street? Is your home near anything potentially disruptive, such as train tracks, an airport or a busy road? It may not seem like much at the time, but put thought into how it will affect your day to day life in one, five or ten years.

Sight

The way your home looks should be an extension of yourself and your personality. Consider how it looks through your eyes vs. someone else’s. What does your home say about you? Does it accurately reflect your personality and where you are in your life? If not, it may be time for a change.

Clients often come to us because they feel they’ve lost the vision of their home. As the place you spend most of your time, you want your space to offer inspiration and comfort, not be an eyesore. It’s only natural that your interior style and tastes will change as you grow and change throughout your life. If your home style is feeling stale, try repainting a room, rearranging your furniture, purchasing some new pieces, or going for a full overhaul.

Your home design should be a total sensory experience. Take time to curate and choose pieces that engage the senses, evoke strong emotions and make you feel truly at home in your space.

Susan Brunstrum

Possibilities